Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina on Monday suggested that the head of Planned Parenthood should resign, deepening her personal feud with the organization that has repeatedly accused her of lying.
“Cecile Richards can step down. She probably should step down,” Fiorina said in an interview with Boston Herald Radio that was highlighted by BuzzFeed News.
Fiorina was responding to a question about the ongoing Planned Parenthood controversy, in which officials had been accused of trying to profit from the donation of aborted fetus tissue. The claims surfaced from a series of undercover videos released this summer, prompting three congressional investigations, though there are no criminal probes.
The topic also made it into last month’s GOP presidential debate, in which Fiorina delivered an impassioned attack on the group. To roaring applause, Fiorina said the footage showed “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”
Planned Parenthood accused Fiorina of fibbing about the footage. “There is no polite way to say this: Carly Fiorina is lying,” Eric Ferrero, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood, said.
Fiorina has fiercely fought back, arguing in multiple appearances — including a high-profile exchange on NBC’s "Meet The Press" — that she did not embellish her claims.
In her Monday interview, Fiorina twice suggested the president of Planned Parenthood should step down, while calling for the group to be defunded in its entirety.
“Unless something fundamental changes, that we stop funding these people with taxpayer dollars, that they are actually investigated and prosecuted, the reality is nothing’s really going to change,” Fiorina said.
“The problem is, Cecile Richards stepping down won’t solve any of that,” she said. “I’m not saying Cecile Richards shouldn’t step down, I’m just saying it’s the tip of the iceberg."
Richards made her first appearance on Capitol Hill last week, taking questions for five hours about the fetal tissue program and the practice of abortion in general.